tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC July 29, 2014 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
welcome to "world news." tonight, saving yosemite. firefighters unleash torrents of water to protect an american treasure. ancient sequoia trees in danger, as families are turned away. a major health alert. a big change tonight about skin cancer. why it's getting worse and what america's top doctor says you need to do right now. taken. the young victim who mysteriously vanished for nine months faces her accused kidnapper in court. and seconds to spare. the stunning video of two women on a bridge with a train bearing down. how they escaped. good evening to you on this tuesday night. as we come on the air, a treasured part of america the
beautiful, yosemite national park, is the scene of a pitched battle. a fast-moving wildfire on bone dry earth. that iconic skyline buried in smoke. and an eerie image from recent days. yosemite aglow, each golden dot another fire. and abc's brandi hitt is back on the fire lines for us tonight. >> welcome to owe see item. >> reporter: it's not the vacation many travelers were expecting. >> it's closed? >> it is closed, yeah. >> reporter: frustrated families facing road blocks, closed campsites and heavy smoke from a wildfire burning nearly five square miles since saturday. many expecting vacation memories of yosemite's world-famous scenery. and not a fire fight. >> now, we can't take photos because of all the smoke. >> reporter: these are the biggest weapons firefighters are using tonight. >> just a quick update on conditions. >> reporter: helicopters loading water and targeting the danger zones. >> most of this fire is inaccessible. it would continue to grow
unchecked if we didn't have the helicopter support. >> reporter: the non-stop air assault of 250 drops each day, giving hot shot crews on the front lines time to get ahead of the flames. 100 miles to the north, just east of sacramento, evacuations have been lifted after another wildfire destroyed 13 homes. this low-flying drone nearly causing more problems by getting in the way of firefighting aircraft. one of the most critical tools in this year's already busy fire seaon. while yosemite park is open, it's not easy getting to all of the main attractions. road blocks are forcing some travelers to take two-hour detours around the fire. diane? >> thank you so much, brandi. ginger zee is here right now to give us a look ahead. ginger? >> reporter: yeah, that's the thing. it is nice and cool and comfortable here in the northeast and great lakes, but you look to the west and we are still stuck with this. the heat, the wind. everything you don't want when it comes to fires.
so, red flag warnings still for parts of california and oregon. heat advisories in washington state to idaho. but i got to show you this tonight. diane, new pictures coming in from colorado. you can see the video there. some highways, two to three feet covered in water. parts of ft. collins getting close to four inches of rain in just 90 minutes. so, it's much of colorado dealing with that flash flood threat tonight. ten states have watches. that's the back side of that monsoon flow. it falls in some of the burn areas. it is not good. but it is good in some parts, that would be for oklahoma, where they need the rain. they are going to get a lot. we'll be watching. >> those pictures just coming in, really stunning. thank you so much, ginger. now, we turn to the urgent new call to action from america's top doctor, the surgeon general. he is sounding an alarm about something we see all around us. skin cancer. and he's doing it at the height of summer when a lot of the damage is being done. abc's chief medical editor dr. richard besser on the reason for this new urgency tonight.
>> reporter: this is what the surgeon general's call to action is trying to combat. skin, sun and a deadly problem. >> over the last 35 years, we've had a tripling of the cases of melanoma in this country. >> reporter: in previous generations, it was the surgeon general leading the charge against smoking. today's message? avoid all forms of tanning. that's because skin cancer is now the single most common cancer in america. 5 million treated a year. and it's deadliest form, melanoma, is now the only common cancer in america that's on the rise. america's surgeon general is also a dermatologist. >> there's no such thing as a good tan. tanned skin is damaged skin. it's a sign of excessive ultraviolet exposure. >> reporter: just look at the sun damage revelead in these uv filtered photos of skin that looks perfectly healthy. all those spots? permanent alterations in the lowest layers of skin. for children, the sun is especially dangerous.
we now know a blistering sunburn in childhood more than doubles the chance of melanoma later in life. so, listen to the surgeon general. reduce indoor tanning. and you should be using one ounce of sunscreen every two hours, which means a family our four spending the day at the beach should use an entire 12 ounce container of lotion. the warning isn't just for the fair skinned. >> we're finding more and more skin cancers in hispanic populations, as well as african-american populations. and the reality is, this is becoming a public health crisis for the whole population. >> and rich besser is here now. i want to go back to that sentence again. one blistering sunburn in childhood doubles the risk later? >> reporter: it does. the risk still remains low, but that's frightening. think about it this way. every one of those sunburns you prevent helps keep the risk low. and this is difficult for me, as well, as americans, we have to give up on the tan. it's just too dangerous. >> give up on the tan. this is a big change tonight. thank you so much, dr. richard besser. and now, we head overseas and to the heart of the conflict
in the middle east. israel unleashing the biggest assault on gaza yet. and for israelis, a new look at one source of fear. those tunnels, where palestinian fighters emerge on israeli soil from under the ground. abc's david wright is in gaza tonight. >> reporter: tonight, new video show what hamas says are fighters rising up out of tunnels, to mount a brazen attack yesterday. on an israeli outpost. their faces blacked out, we see them engage in a firefight. killing five soldiers. the group's shadowy military leader pledging, no cease-fire until israel lifts its blockade of gaza. this, after the heaviest night of bombardment so far. israel backing up its threat to destroy hamas. flares lit up many of the targets. one of them -- the port right outside our windows.
the blast so powerful, our whole building shook like an earthquake. more than five hours of sustained shelling. a time lapse camera was stationed. from 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., a whole neighborhood reduced to rubble. this afternoon, we cautiously ventured out. this is gaza's only power station, still burning hours later. and they estimate it will be out of commission for at least a year. we also went to the home of the former palestinian prime minister. not anymore. the house, flattened. he wasn't home. the neighbor across the street told me israel fired three warning shots before finally taking it out. your whole family was able to get out? "yes," he said, "all safe. "tonight, renewed shelling. two sides very much at war. neither backing down.
david wright, abc news, gaza. >> our thanks to david wright and the team in the middle east. now, back here at home today, president obama issued a new challenge to russian president vladimir putin. more tough sanctions, in partnership with europe. and the big question is, will putin feel the pressure this time? let's bring in abc's chief white house correspondent, jonathan karl. what is the answer, jon? >> reporter: well, diane, these sanctions will sting. they go right at the lifeline of the russian company, hitting the energy, banking and defense sectors. it's a move that comes 12 days after the downing of malaysian flight 17, as president obama announced the moves, he made it clear that his aim is to make russia and vladimir putin in particular pay a high price for supporting the pro-russian rebels that shot that plane down. >> it doesn't have to come to this. it didn't have to come to this. it does not have to be this way. this is a choice that russia and president putin in particular has made.
>> reporter: nothing in putin's behavior suggests that any of this will change his course. certainly nothing has changed it so far. but white house officials, diane, say these are the toughest actions taken by the united states and europe against russia so far. >> all right, jonathan karl reporting on it all from the white house tonight. thanks, jon. and now, we move next to a dramatic day in a new hampshire courtroom. a young woman, face to face with a 34-year-old man, under arrest and now charged with kidnapping her. so, what happened to abigail hernandez? how did she disappear for nine months? the mystery in the court today, from abc's ryan smith. >> reporter: today, for the first time since coming home to her family, abigail hernandez faced the man prosecutors say kidnapped and held her against her will for nine long months. at his arraignment today, that than nathanial kibby, held on one million dollars bail, appeared cuffed and shackled, facing
felony kidnapping charges that could bring seven years in prision. authorities revealing few details about abby's return, but vowing to press forward with the investigation. >> if there is additional evidence that other crimes will be committed, those charges will be brought. >> reporter: abby disappeared walking home from school in october. when she returned home to her family last week, police released this sketch, kirby was arrested monday. police searching his residence, including this mysterious metal storage container, 30 some miles away from abby's home. kibby's residence now a crime scene, as police try to figure out if hernandez was there all along, leaving some of his neighbors rattled. what did you hear? >> i heard he's kind of creepy, not to really go by his house at night. >> reporter: who told you that? >> my parents. >> reporter: and friends of the hernandez family happy her alleged captor is behind bars. >> just a sense of relief that he's not out there anybody.
>> reporter: tonight, abby hernandez is back home, with her family by her side. ryan smith, abc news, conway, new hampshire. and tonight, consumer groups are about to release their annual report of the top ten consumer come flauplaints and o the biggest are the tell markets calls that keep coming. we've learned that robo calls to your cell phone are often illegal. abc's matt gutman tells you how you can fight back and possibly make money doing it. >> reporter: the unwanted calls come in by the millions every day. >> anywhere from five to six per day. >> they call morning, noon and night. >> reporter: driving the waites of bellview, florida, crazy. >> you called this phone number about 200 times. >> reporter: a debt collector's robo call. 204 of them bombarding then 17-year-old heather waites' cell phone. >> they started calling two or three times a day. >> reporter: thing is, heather had no debt. zero. >> i shut the phone off.
>> reporter: 68% of cell owners receiver at least some unwanted calls. a quarter of them say it happens several times a week. what most don't know is that these kinds of calls to cell phones are illegal under federal law. and robo callers face a he ty penalty. they could owe you $500 to $1,500 for every unwanted call. the waites' called lawyer billy howard, who had made suing the collection companies his specialty. >> there are hundreds of thousands of people that are going through this exact same thing. they just don't know their rights. >> reporter: some famous cases have reached up to $600,000. and there are thousands of these collection companies. we tracked down the one calling heather waite. go gorden beck is the c.o.o. of diversified consultants inc, already sued 100 times this year. >> we keep records of everything. and although there is human error, we do our best every
single day to make sure things like that do not happen. >> reporter: human error due to sheer volume. companies like diversified that make over a million automated calls per day to what they think are landlines, but some are actually cell phones. beck admits there are mistakes, but he says it's hard to tell landlines from cell phones. >> but it's not intentional. >> reporter: what if you were called three times a day? >> if i was called three times a day and i didn't want it, i would pick up the phone and say please stop calling me. >> reporter: the waites did that, but the calls kept coming. reach one of these phone calls is worth 500 bucks at least. how does that feel? >> well, we're both excited. >> reporter: it was now their turn to collect from the collection agencies. matt gutman, abc news, bellview, florida. and don't miss matt's full report tonight on "nightline." and now, to a big headline in the battle over dangerous concussions and sports. not professional athletes, but college athletes. today, the ncaa agreed to settle a lawsuit for $70 million, the money going to help thousands of current and former athletes in certain sports who may have suffered brain injuries.
the deal includes pre-season testing, diagnosis and research. the settlement still needs a judge's approval. and up next here tonight, close call on the tracks. the jarring video that shows two women trapped on a bridge, tryitry ing to outrun a train. tonight, how they escaped, and why railroad officials want everyone to see these pictures. and, is this the next tiger woods? the toddler who learned to play golf before he could walk? just like you. for many, prescription nexium helps heal acid-related erosions in the lining of the esophagus. there is risk of bone fracture and low magnesium levels. side effects may include headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. if you have persistent diarrhea, contact your doctor right away. other serious stomach conditions may exist. avoid if you take clopidogrel. nexium 40 mg is only available by prescription. talk to your doctor. for free home delivery, enroll in nexium direct today.
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14,000-ton freight train bears down on two women running for their lives. this video released as a warning by railroad to keep people off the tracks. in this instance, the engineer applies the emergency brake. he repeatedly sounds the horn as the 100-car coal train, traveling 30 miles per hour on a narrow indiana bridge, shows down, but can't stop. the two women, helpless, try to run. finally, this woman lies down on the tracks between the rains, with the train just 30 feet away. the second woman does the same. >> the engineer assumed that he was calling into our dispatch office to let us know he had killed two people. thankfully, they crawled out from underneath the train. >> reporter: these women survived by being as flush with the tracks as possible. there are just ten inches of space between the train to the track. you can see from this video just how close the trains are. >> it can take a train, a freight train, over a mile to stop. >> reporter: from 2011 to this year, trespasser fatalities are up 36%.
there have been 167 so far in 2014, compared with 128 deaths in all of last year. for these women, it was just a close call. the only thing bearing down on them now is the law. both women will likely be prosecuted for criminal trespassing. linsey davis, abc news, new york. and when we come back here, take a look at this scene. can you pick out the secret weapon at the beach, keeping swimmers safe? we have the answer in our "instant index." one of our favoo is going to the dog park together. sometimes my copd makes it hard to breathe. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function starting within five minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better. come on, boy! [ female announcer ] symbicort is for copd, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day.
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trending to the top of our "instant index" tonight, the whale-watching expedition gone awry off massachusetts. 157 passengers back on dry land tonight, after a short sail turned into 15 hours at sea. their both, tangled in heavy cable. and they say it was a cold night, passengers sharing potato chips from the snack bar. if they weren't seasick.
the operators of the cruise ship admitted today the boat had ventured into a restricted area. and tonight, the coast guard is investigating, while the passengers are just happy to be home. and, a new secret weapon, keeping swimmers safe this summer. meet bruno. a newfoundland. the newest hire at a resort in spain. the first dog to join their lifeguard squad. he patrols the water alongside human swimmers who say bruno helps. he has a natural edge. he has swwebbed feet, like a du, that let him swim for miles, and two layers of fur that keep him virtually waterproof, ready to be a kind of doggy life raft. and a lot of the country says grocery, but southerners say grocery. which brings us to a lab in tennessee, set to offer their employees a kind of self-improvement course. a southern accent reduction course. to a low employees to blend in with anyone in the midwest. the trouble is, not everyone
thinks a southern drawl is something to be overcome. some employees were offended, and tonight, word the class has been canceled, apologies offered. file that under "never mind, y'all." and up next right here, a tiny tot being called the next tiger woods. the 3-year-old golf proj dprodi already plays like the pros. wouldn't it be great if hiring plumbers, carpenters shopping online is as easy as it gets. and even piano tuners were just as simple? thanks to anlist, now it is. we've made hiring anyone from a handyman to a dog walker as simple as a few clicks. buy their services directly at angieslist.com no more calling around. no more hassles. start shopping from a list of top-rated providers today. angie's list is revolutionizing local service again.
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and finally tonight, the pint-sized golf phenom, ready to take on tiger woods. 3 years old, baby james began playing before he could walk, before he could talk. abc's steve osunsami introduces us to the tiny golfer with the really big swing. >> reporter: he's the pride of southern louisiana. they call him baby james, just 3 little tiny years old. >> there you go. >> reporter: what's amazing, golf experts say, is how often he connects, and how shots like this one are no accident. >> oh!
>> reporter: his mother, nicole, is a self-described golf mom. driving her young prodigy to practice at least four times a week. before he could even walk, he was playing with plastic clubs. >> he would start hitting the ball around the house while he was crawling. >> reporter: they met a coach at a golf course who told them to get their son real ones. >> this one's for chipping. >> reporter: this one's for chipping. >> he's the one who wants to constantly. mama, daddy let's go to the golf course. >> reporter: it didn't long for people to notice. >> look out bubba watson, we've got a 3-year-old golf proddy. >> i'd like you to meet tiger woods and his father -- >> reporter: it's hard not to think of another young prodigy, seen here on "the mike douglas show," age 2. >> pretty soon tiger woods will be getting baby james's autograph. >> reporter: we met him preparing for his first real tournament. >> put it to the side if you want. >> reporter: put it to the side? okay.
>> awesome! >> reporter: this 3-year-old took fourth against kids nearly twice his age. he's still learning his abc's, but he's already mastered reading the greens. >> yes! >> reporter: steve osunsami, abc news, abita springs, louisiana. >> and we thank you so much for watching. we're always here at abcnews.com. "nightline," of course, later. and we'll see you right back here again tomorrow night. good night.